One of the things I like best about Microsoft’s web site is the image gallery within the Press Pass. Within the gallery, Microsoft posts downloadable versions of various images including their product logos for Office and Windows; application screen shots for Excel and PowerPoint and product box images for SQL Server and BizTalk. Of course, Microsoft’s corporate logo is posted as well. Additionally, there are hardware images of Microsoft’s keyboards, mice and joystick products. Microsoft even posts 5-6 different images of the Redmond campus.
Microsoft’s Redmond Campus – Aerial View
Microsoft requires end-users to agree to a long list of disclaimers before accessing the Image Gallery, which is designed for journalists. However, I suspect that a much broader audience utilizes the site. What I find so impressive about Microsoft’s Press Pass is the willingness to share high resolution logos and images with the general public. Few companies actually make their digital brands so easy to obtain. More and more companies are going to the trouble of locking down the image content on their home page to prevent end-users from downloading logos from their site. This is just madness of course. Anyone can do a Google Image search and in a matter of a few seconds find the logo for any major company in the world.
I have never understood the logic behind restricting the general public from having a high-resolution digital copy of your logo. What harm is going to be caused by making the images available for download? I am sure there are a handful of competitors or irate customers that might use the logo to try to damage the reputation of your company. However, 99% of the end-users downloading a logo or product image are going to use it to promote the company. And let’s face it. Those trying to cause trouble are going to be resourceful and persistent enough to obtain the digital content they are seeking regardless of whatever protective measures are implemented.
Let the general public download your corporate and product logos; packaging designs and screen shots. Create a page within your Media Center or Corporate menu structure in which all of the images are available in both low resolution and high resolution format. You only stand to benefit from the Word of Mouse marketing that will ensue as end-users post your brand on their web sites, blogs, social network accounts, professional documents and presentations.